Our good friend, journalist, music fan and writer Kevin McGrath has curated an amazing collection of alternative and independent music that includes some of our favorite musicians from his native Wales and beyond. What started as a few tracks continued to develop and grow into a vast mixtape like experience of compelling music that makes for hours of sonic adventures. The project grew to include 50 songs! The word impressive does not do this initiative justice.
This collection is not only an ambitious songscape but it is a project with heart. The proceeds for this initiative is a thoughtful effort to raise funds of the Velindre Cancer Center in Cardiff, Wales where McGrath himself received care for his own challenge with cancer. Money generated from the sale of this ‘Charity Mixtape’ are also being shared with the UK’s National Health Service which has been involved in a heroic struggle with the Covid-19 virus which claimed nearly 900 employees in that fight. In true community spirit, McGrath’s music collection draws attention to bands and musicians that we would all do well to explore in more detail and at the same time raise funds for a cutting edge cancer treatment center.
The music on this compilation includes newly recorded songs as well as music that has been out for a time. There are also some incredible reworkings of past music. When McGrath began contacting musicians for possible inclusion in this effort, he was overwhelmed with positive responses far exceeding his expectations. Community is built through commitment, involvement, attachment and demonstration of shared beliefs and this collection draws upon all of those characteristics of healthy community creation.
The music in this compilation includes several genres that we appreciate here at Your Tuesday Afternoon Alternative such as folk/singer songwriter (Jodie Marie), catchy indie (The Grief Brothers, Bandicoot), indie rock (Walter Etc. – one of the few American bands to be included), lo fi (Armstrong), thoughtful melodic pop (Super 8), punk (Turin), surf rock (Eggs on Mars), orchestral pop (the criminally underappreciated Peter Hall) and rock and roll (Burning Furns, oh let’s just be honest and say… far too many artists to mention here).
John Harris, who we all should know called the collection a ‘brilliant, lovingly compiled album that showcases a lot of superb new music from Wales’. Pete Paphides (The Times, Mojo) labelled this musical experience ‘a magnificent anthology’ and The Welsh Music Podcast claimed it as a ‘Who’s who of Welsh Music’. There have been a variety of celebrity endorsements from Billy Bragg, Andrew Collins and Ian Rankin.
More details can be found on McGrath’s excellent blog, RedSoapBox.
Or better yet, purchase a copy of this fantastic collection at the bandcamp page for the project and support this effort.